Friday, June 27, 2014

Lost but not forgotten

I'm linking up at Lisa Jo Baker's blog today for Five Minute Friday. This is where writers join in to write on one topic. We don't worry about perfection or back tracking. Just writing for the fun of it. You are welcome to join in! Today's prompt is "lost".

I could almost hear the grain dryer as it roared like an angry lion. I could almost see my dad checking on the grain bins, or unloading a truckload of fresh picked corn into the place where the auger would take the corn up up up and dump it in the top of the grain bin.

But, all of that is lost now.

All I have are memories. 

I had a chance to go back to my old farm place this last weekend. I already knew that my house and all the out buildings were long gone. Pushed out of the way to plant and harvest more crops. 

The price of progress pushing out my memories.

I stood there with the wind tousling my hair around my face, just as it was tossing the grass around my feet. All I could see in front of me were the four grain bins, including the grain dryer that my dad used to use.

The historical marker that has marked our farm since 1949 was still standing there as proud 
as ever.

I saw an auger. Was it the one my dad used to use? I also saw an old tractor that I could have sworn was my dads. But, there is now no one to ask whether it was my dad’s or not.

Dad passed away 25 years ago, and it’s been even longer since he actually farmed the land since he had complications of Parkinsons.

The house I grew up in, the grainery, the barn, the abandoned chicken house, the pasture where we kept our horses, 

all lost. 

All long gone.

But in my vivid memories none of that will ever be forgotten, in fact as I stood there in the 

in the stillness
in the quiet,

I think I could hear my dad working 
and I could see him standing at the bin waving a smile.


Thanks for stopping by, friend!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

How my dad was like a pirate

Today, Father's Day, lots of random, little (or big depending on how you look at them) memories have been surfacing about my dad. 

My dad passed away from complications of Parkinson's when he was 57. I was twenty five. My first baby had just turned one. That was twenty five years ago.

His life was cut way too short. I've often thought of how he would have so enjoyed being Grandpa to my kids, his grandchildren, who are now 21, 24 and 26. He would have loved seeing them grow up into the young adults they are today! 

He was a farmer through and through. He was always glad to have me ride in the cab of the combine. I wasn't allowed to drive :) but I sat on a small place right beside his seat. He had KRVN on the radio. Sometimes country music, but always the news. Always the "Dow Jones Market." I thought it was great fun watching the combine gobble up the corn stalks and spit out the kernels behind me in the grain bin.

Coffee time was a religion. Mid morning and mid afternoon was "coffee time" which either consisted of some member of the family taking coffee and cookies (or some other treat) out to the field, or him coming in the house for it. Usually, in the busy seasons, coffee time was in the field and it didn't last long!

His Sunday routine when I was little was to stop at the Hotel Dale in downtown Holdrege after church, and buy a Sunday Paper. I believe it was The Omaha World Herald. My mom and I would wait in the car. He would often buy a pack of Doublemint Gum, his favorite, of which I was only allowed a "half stick". Today my favorite gum is Doublemint and it brings me a smile to chew it. :)

Dad was like a pirate when it came to the weather. He kept a weather eye on the horizon at all times, except for maybe winter when his fields were dormant. He had a rain gauge which he checked after every rain storm, and I was always amazed that he could read it down to the "hundredths of an inch". I could never figure that out. 

Dad sporting a beard

He would march out across the farm yard and check that rain gauge like clockwork after it rained. I'm not sure what all went on in his farmer-planning head when he discovered how much rain we'd had, but I'll bet it had to do with how much, or whether to irrigate his crops the next few days. 

When I was twelve and had never sat behind a steering wheel, Dad put me behind it one day out in the pasture. He tried to teach me to drive the pick up (a manual shifter), so he could pound fence posts in. I made that pick up die over and over and over, and my dad never lost his patience with me. I think he probably finally gave up though and put himself behind the wheel again. 

For awhile we picked up my best friend, Kristi Gabrielson, on the way to school. My dad got great pleasure from figuring out what Kristi and my names were backwards and calling us by those names. Each morning when Kristi would get into the pick up cab to go to school with me, Dad would say, "Hi Itsirk!" He called me Enna. I still remember the kick he got out of seeing our little girl faces scrunch up into laughter. 

Often, when we were on our way somewhere out in the country, Dad would ask me which way he should turn at the next corner. Of course, as a little girl I had no idea where we were, but he would dutifully turn the steering wheel in the direction I ordered him to. This would go on for a few miles, and then somehow we would end up at our destination. This always fascinated me. How did I get us where we were supposed to be when I had no idea where we were??

Dad, I miss you every day, but remembering these things about you today has made me miss you a little more. I'm looking forward to sitting down someday and reminiscing together. Thank you for being such a wonderful Dad and Father to me.

I love you!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Seeing the sacred in sunrise

I am hard pressed to choose what I am. Am I a night owl, or an early bird? Usually, I'm up too late to be much of an early bird, so you can see my dilemma.

There is something sacred about early mornings when the day is fresh and the world has not yet caught it's breath.

The quiet is settled on the morning like a fog that hasn't yet lifted. If I've gotten enough sleep to actually be awake at this early hour, my thoughts speak loudly in the quiet. God can speak too. He speaks all the time, but this is when my ears can actually hear Him if I take the time to listen.

The dawn herself is decked out in glorious array at the beginning. Her colors are more vivid. It's like dawn is showing off and letting us know that there is more glory to come.

A couple of weeks ago, this sacredness of early morning sunrise hit me like it's hitting me today.

The beauty struck me.
The silence stopped me.

The thought that no matter what else life throws at me, no matter how many things change, the sun always rises, and even when it's not rising in my corner of the world, it's rising somewhere!

What a comforting thought!

Here's what I wrote that day:

Each morning, the sun gently kisses the earth and sky in your corner of the world. The sun is always shining somewhere!
Darkness lasts only for a night.

Then, the dawn comes.
It rises as surely as a breath, whether you will it to or not.
The dawn is programmed to rise. It's in the very nature of things that dawn comes.

Drink in the sun like a large glass of tea on a summer day.
It beckons you to stop, look, listen to the beauty.

The dawn speaks every day.
Do you hear her?
She whispers.
She taps us on the shoulder and says,

"Remember yesterday? I was here upon your waking from slumber. I'm here today.

I'm here, as close as your breath is to your soul.
I promise to greet you every day you are on this earth.
This should give you security.
A foundational trust.
What was true yesterday, is true today.
I'm here.

Oh, you may not see the sun exactly the same every day.
Some days it is obscured by clouds.
But, rest assured my friend.
I'm here and I've brought Mr. Sun with me.

Every morning, in some part of this vast beautiful world, the sun shines.
The creator deemed it this way.

In this way, the cycle continues,
day after day,
week after week,
year after year,
sunrise to sunrise,
sunset to sunset
the circle of light continues on.

Take time to be silent in my presence.
Listen to what I have to say.
Feel the warmth of my light on your face and be restored.
Carry my light with you throughout this day.

Carry and share.

The world needs my promised light, health, peace,
and yet there is so much hurry that I am often missed.

And much goes missing.

I am close to everyone on this earth.
To anyone who has breath in their lungs and pause in their soul."

Thanks for stopping by, friend!


Linking up with the lovely writers at Coffee for Your Heart and Three Word Wednesday today.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

When I let my hands do the work

LInking up a little late. Linking up for Five Minute Friday on Saturday this time over at Lisa Jo Baker's blog. Once a week, we get together to write on a topic for five minutes straight with no edits. Just writing for the sheer fun of it. Letting our writing hair down so to speak. Won't you come on over and see what others have written on the topic "hands"? 

At least twice a day, 
or more if I can get away with it, my hands go for the yarn and needles. 

I’m not sure what it is about knitting, but somehow the stress drains away, and I am transported when I start to knit. 

So far, I’m just a beginner, really. I just took two two hour classes on two afternoons. I’ve learned to knit two kinds of dish cloths.

The teacher I had at the knitting store had made all of the examples in the store, many of them being sweaters, or vests. Very intricate patterns. Very fancy. I could easily compare.

But, somehow I am spared from comparison this time.

I am going to take an “intermediate” knitting class next week where I will learn to do some kinds of knit stitches that look like lace. Perfect for making scarves they say.

For now, I’ve been very content to pick up the yarn and needles and go to work on my little pinwheel shaped dish cloths. This last week I mailed one to my step mother and may end up mailing out more.

I know it’s not much, but somehow it is a part of me. 

Something that is handmade. 

Something that I spent a few hours on.

And, oh, the way my thoughts wander when I’m knitting.
Oh, big problems are not necessarily solved.

But, my breathing slows, my thoughts go still. 

I put my worries away and let my hands do the work.

Knit four, yarn over, knit to the end, leave two stitches. Knit four, knit to the end. Repeat.

Thanks for stopping by for FMF on Saturday!

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